My spirit suddenly trembled, and for just a moment I thought my hold on the owl body would break. Nearby, the harpy eagle body that was Eleri let out a mournful wail that even the wind could not swallow. Though the dragon below me did not falter, I knew Mama had felt it as well; her sprit shivered loud enough for me to hear it, to feel it within myself.
I recovered, head spinning. What was that?
The dragon screamed, and Mama answered, I don’t know. Stay close to Eleri, just in—
Then it came again, before she had a chance to finish.
The pain struck first.
It was pain that I could never have imagined—pain that stabbed my heart and burned my bones. My vision blackened; I no longer felt the glacial wind ruffling through my feathers.
And then it happened.
With as much warning as a hiccup in time, I was thrown from my false body.
For just a moment, we were suspended in time, and I could see everything with such perfect clarity.
Eleri had been pushed back into her body; her long hair streamed behind her as she fell like the licking tendrils of a fire’s shadow. Mama still wore her dragon skin, but her wings had gone limp; Morwenna was little more than a blotch of polished copper amidst bronze scales and a flat grey sky.
In the moment before time resumed, the whole world was quiet, and realization slowly crushed me—
I was trying to fly on clipped wings. Continue reading